Maribeth Wilder Doerr

Shades of Healing ~ Creating a Wholehearted Life

Can You Help Me Bring Yoga to Women Pregnant After Pregnancy/Infant Loss?

In 2014, I had a successful GoFundMe campaign to complete Baby Loss Doula Training.  Thank you all so much for helping me achieve that dream.  In 2015, I completed the requirements and am a certified baby loss doula.  I help women and families in my community as well as across the country (and even one in Australia!).  I do this work as a volunteer, and as a woman who went through labor knowing my baby would be born dead (and knowing after delivery that my second son would die as well), I understand the need for women to have someone help them make plans for their birth when they know their baby will not survive.  This work is truly a labor of love.  These babies are wanted and cherished and these few moments (or days) after birth is the only chance their parents have to parent them.  I help them decide how they want to do exactly that.  You helped me achieve a dream come true!  Thank you thank you thank you!

On that first GoFundMe campaign, I had a wish list that included Prenatal Yoga Teacher training.  I am a registered yoga teacher (RYT) and now it’s time for me to take the next step in helping women who experience pregnancy/infant loss and to full fill that first campaign.  Pregnancy after loss is an incredibly emotional roller coaster.  Yoga helps with anxiety and stress; yoga for women who are pregnant again after pregnancy loss not only helps with grief but also with the fear that goes with another pregnancy.  It also helps with bonding with the new little one while holding space for the love for the baby that died.

I want to bring yoga to these women and I pray and hope you’ll help me.  My goals are to teach locally, to offer private lessons both locally and via skype which includes grief coaching and to make yoga videos for women who are not local or wish to learn over the internet.  I have yet to find anyone who is serving families in this way.  It’s needed – and badly!

I need your help to fund my training.  And good news!  Since my first GoFundMe where I thought I’d have to travel to San Francisco, there is now a prenatal yoga teacher training in my area (where I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training) beginning in January 2017, provided there are enough signups at the training studio.  I need $1370 by January 1, 2017.  The additional amount to $1500 is for the fees that GoFundMe and WePay charge for this fundraiser (7.9% plus .30 per donation).  Can you help?

My wish list items include:  hoping to be certified in chair yoga and gentle yoga so that I can teach seniors at my church.  I am a Registered and Certified Yoga Teacher.  It would be helpful to be certified in chair yoga ($695) and gentle yoga for seniors ($495).  I can teach these now; however I am not certified and in teaching seniors, certification is extremely helpful and valuable.

I am in the process of creating my own brand of Yoga for Grief and I hope to debut that in Summer 2017.  In the meantime, I humbly ask you to help me help women grieving a pregnancy loss and/or trying to conceive/are pregnant again after a loss(es).  Getting back in touch with your body after such a loss is so important and vital.  Yoga can do this; someone trained in pregnancy loss support AND yoga can help these women move forward with less anxiety which always is better for baby!  Help me be that person.

To donate, click here.  And thank you for sharing this information with your friends and family.

From my heart to yours,

maribethsig

 

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2015 Recap – Completion (and Celebration)

2015 was full of changes for me.  I started the year working full-time at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Reno.  I was intending to only work full-time until another office person was hired and then my hours would go back to part-time.  When they offered me a full-time job, I said yes with a full heart.  It’s been a blessing in so many ways.  It’s also been a challenge to be up and out of the house early in the morning and being committed to a 9-5 gig.  Adjustments have been made and I get to work with the most amazing people!  It’s all been totally unexpected and a rather nice surprise at that!

2015 was also a year of completion (and I LOVE the sound of that!).  I finished Yoga Teacher Training and was certified in January after a 14 month process of classes, study, practice, teaching (and filming myself teach – YIKES!), and getting to know myself in the process.  I had a couple of injuries (both unrelated to yoga) that I had to work around which is one of the blessings of yoga – meeting yourself where you’re at in that moment of time.  This training helped me develop kindness for my body, something that was sorely lacking in my life!  In the fall, I registered with the Yoga Alliance and am now a Registered Yoga Teacher.  Never thought I would do this at age in my mid-50’s!  yogacertification

What am I doing with this?  Not much  . . . YET!  I have workshop ideas and I do want to teach soon.  Stay tuned for details on Beacon of Light Yoga along with my own personal brand of yoga for grief.  It’s all in process and I’m loving the journey.

Another completion after nearly 18 months of training and study . . . I’m a certified Baby Loss Doula.  This means I can be with laboring women who know their baby will be stillborn or die shortly after birth.  I can also help women who know ahead of time that their baby will not live long; I help them create birth plans and show them ways to parent their baby with the short time they have.  And of course, it also involves working with them through their bereavement process (something I’ve been doing since 1988!).  My thanks to those of you who helped me fund the doula workshop I needed to attend as part of this process.  I couldn’t have done it without you!BLDcertification

In November 2014, I finished Hospice Volunteer training at my local hospital, and I was assigned a few patients in 2015.  Such amazing work!  These families are precious, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude each time I make a visit.

It feels so good to have these big trainings done and I’ve been basking in more time than I’ve had for the last 18 months.  So what’s up for 2016?  I’ll have time this year to take on a few coaching clients again (holler if you’re interested!).  I’ll be practicing yoga and teaching at some point this year.  I also truly hope to take prenatal yoga teacher training in 2016 so that I can teach yoga to mamas pregnant again after a loss.  I’m looking at funding resources for this so holler if you know of anything!  Subsequent pregnancies are such a roller coaster and yoga can definitely help with that (and even help with bonding to that special rainbow baby).  I will also be writing more too so I hope you’ll pop by now and then!  Say hello!

Blessings to you and yours in 2016.  There are so many heartbreaking things happening in our world right now.  Please reach out and share your joy and kindness whenever you can.  The world NEEDS you!  My love and gratitude to you all.

 

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THEN, THEN, THEN . . .

IMG_0141In September 2013, I began yoga teacher training.  I was 54 years old and still finding my way back to health after my lengthy illness and losing 55 pounds, much of it muscle.  I didn’t have much strength left and my stamina wasn’t good but I just knew the time was right.  I spoke with the trainer and she had every confidence I could do it.  Actually, Kim had more confidence in me than I did!

In May 2014, we had our last training and I taught my group class – 10 days before my 55th birthday.  As I look back on those months of study, practice, hair-pulling moments, fears, doubts, giggles, and OMG-what-the-hell-have-Igotten-into moments, I’m kind of in awe that I finished.  LOL.  Okay, I admit it; I’m surprised that I finished.  I had lots of moments of wanting to quit.  And honestly, I’m still not totally finished.  I need to video myself teaching a class and then critique it.  I keep finding reasons not to do this last step.  Why?

I was ambivalent with the training for the first 3 months before I totally embraced it and fell in love with the process.  It was a HUGE commitment of time and energy.  At that point, I was probably walking around with my chest puffed out that I was 54 and in yoga teacher training.  Then . . . yeah, then (get ready for a lot of thens), I got sick right after Christmas along with almost everyone I know and it seemed to take forever to get my energy back.  THEN I got food poisoning and missed an entire training weekend.  THEN my back went out a month later and I couldn’t practice much.  THEN my group was assigned Bhekasana, frog pose, to create a class around.  Bhekasana is a heavy-duty backbend that I couldn’t do with messed up back!  THEN I went to Tucson for a Baby Loss Doula training and got sick (food poisoning again?).   THEN my nephew died two days after I got home from Tucson and I was grieving all over again!

Sick of the THENs yet?  Well I got sick of them.  Oh yes indeed!  Time to remember I’m a pick-myself-up-by the bootstraps kind of girl.  Through all of the THENs, I discovered that if I simply sit on my yoga mat, I was meeting myself where I was at that moment.  Sitting there for a few minutes would show me subtle nuances of change.  Maybe my back felt slightly better than the day before.  Maybe my gut was rumbling a little less than the day before.  Maybe my mind was a little less scattered than the day before . . . if I hadn’t spent those moments on my mat everyday, I would have never noticed those subtle nuances.  Sometimes I wasn’t a little better than the day before and that gave me a moment to be kind to myself.  I learned the gift of gentle yoga practice, of truly listening to my body.  I also learned how to listen to my heart . . .

The day after my nephew died,  I hit my mat for practice and found I couldn’t stand to hear a teacher’s voice.  It was too much stimulation.  I also didn’t have the bandwidth to intuitively move through sun salutations (I had zero focus except for thinking of my nephew) and that made me feel stupid and frustrated.  So I rested on my mat in vajrasana, hugged myself tightly and then practiced opening up my arms to open my heart.  It felt vulnerable and I closed my eyes which felt like a little kid who thinks when you close your eyes nobody can see you.  I asked myself, “What do I most need right here in this moment?”  It was self-love.  I was feeling guilty for ways I thought I’d failed my nephew.  So, I wrapped my arms around myself again and reminded myself that I was wrapping myself in love, not closing myself up.  I sat with that and thought about Sean.  I couldn’t unwrap again and hold my arms out again but I did feel better.

The next day, I still couldn’t intuitively move through sun saluations but I found a picture with each pose in black on a white page.  No sound, very plain visual.  That was enough stimulation.  I moved through them VERY slowly and totally focused on my breath, eyes closed.  After the first round, I felt like I was floating, a dance with grief.  When my heart rate started to climb, I stopped.  I just couldn’t stand that stimulation, so I sat back down on my mat and tried the heart open visualization again.  Same result.  Even crunching food was too much stimulation.

I continued to meet myself on my mat in this way, changing things up and trying restorative poses instead of sun salutations.  This worked so well because as my joints and muscles let go in the poses, so did my jumbled grieving thoughts.  As my muscles relaxed, so did my heart.

At the next teacher training weekend, I shared all of this with my classmates.  With their love and energy, I was able to do the practices that weekend and not feel overstimulated.  I gently resumed my home practice and then amped it up a lot to work on my group’s class we needed to teach in May.  My body embraced the practice and what do you know . . . I could do Bhekasana!

I graduated and now . . . it’s time to complete my student teaching, video it, and send it all in.  What a ride to get to this point!  All the reading, studying, practicing, classes and THENs of the last 9 months!  I miss the training weekends and the focus I had.  I need a big nudge to get my student teaching done (please give me one dear readers!).

I never planned to teach basic yoga classes when I finished because I want to create and teach yoga for grief but now . . . well, now that I have taught regular yoga, I find that I love it so why not?  I’m not designed to teach advanced yoga to 20-somethings with tiny bendy bodies.  But I have a passion to share yoga with older folks who want some gentle movement in their lives.  I’m not a stereotypical yoga teacher and I’ve found lots of folks who find me comfortable like an old stretched out pair of jeans.  😀  Yeah, that’s me.  A bit faded around the edges but still your go-to jeans.

And THEN there is that amazing realization that you’re never really too old to do something you truly want to do.  You’ll find a way – YOUR way.  Then doesn’t have to be an excuse.  It can be an embrace.

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